Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hey vamanos, everybody let's go!

That's from my friend Dora the Explorer. And it was inspired by the big poster that is next to me right now on the library bookshelf that says "Celebrate Books! Celebremos los libros!" That's the thing. she's bilingual. and so am I. That's the other thing. I'm sitting in a tiny chair in the childrens section of the library because all the other computers were in use. As if my skirt and nametag didn't make me look weird enough. haha. but that's okay because I'm writing to you all and so it's WORTH it, right? haha. I think I might break the computer next to me - a little kid is on there playing kid games and it keeps repeating the same theme song over and over. divine.

ANYWAYS. This was a big week! First item of note: I DIDN'T TRANSFER! so I'm still here on Bellfort with Warner and Ferguson and Gardiner. We are a family, like one giant tree...reaching up twards the sky...I mean. We're still the same district as last transfer. And everyone was WRONG about me leaving! they've been teasing me all week because I really didn't want to go so I'm just happy as can be to still be here. Let me tell you why:

1. I love Hermana Warner and I never wish to be parted from her from this time forward.
2. I want to see the follow-up for Claudia and Marianna
3. Noel!!!!!!

and that brings me to the story of the week: CLAUDIA AND MARIANNA DID IT! They actually went under the water and came back up and everything! haha It was awesome to see their baptism. I'm trying to attatch a photo of them so I hope it worked! (don't judge my round face) Ferguson is the blondie and Gardiner has dark hair. They're so cute! (claudia and marianna) The baptism went PERFECTLY. We had some awesome Hermana's from the ward who gave talks and then Hermana Warner sang "I like to look for rainbows" but in spanish of course, while I played the piano. Then the bishop welcomed them to the ward. They were a little nervous but they did great. Claudia even brought a friend to the baptism! Love that. Except for the fact that when our ward mission leader saw the friend there he asked me and hermana warner to speak on the restoration - on the spot! But that's okay. we teach that lesson about twenty times a week so it wasn't such a big deal. But here's the best part about the whole thing: That morning, before the baptism, we had gone to teach Noel. Our goal was to set Aug. 7 as a baptismal date for him. We taught the lesson and the spirit was strong and everything and so we invited him to set the date and...he said no! what? We tried to resolve his doubts and recommit him (sound familiar RMs?) but he still said no. So we had to satisfy ourselves with inviting him to the baptism that day. He said he'd try to come but...he'd call us. ugh. So I kinda figured he wasn't going to come, but then he called us at the last second and needed a ride so we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find a ride for him but we finally did and he got there - he missed the first talk but he got there! After the service was over I was talking to one of the hermanas in the ward and I saw hermana warner go talk to him out of the corner of my eye. about one minute later she came walking up to me while i was still talking and said "he's getting baptized!" He told her that he was ready to prepare to be baptized on August 7th! hahaha so I had to be sure of course... I went up to him and said "how did you like the baptismal service?" and he said "It was really nice." So I said "when is your Baptism?" and he said "August seventh!" haha so I pumped my fist in the air and said "CONGRATULATIONS!" hahah it was a fun moment. He came to church yesterday and said he feels better about his decision every minute. Is that incredible or what? He said that he was worried to commit to a baptismal date because although he wants to change his life, every time he has gone to church in other religions he hasn't FELT it in his heart. So he was afraid he wouldn't FEEL it in our church either. But he said when he walked in he felt an "energy" and peace and so much love from everyone there. He said he knows that he can really change. We know he can too! Keep him in your prayers. We taught him the Word of Wisdom yesterday which we were kinda worried about but he accepted it no problem. August seventh baby! and that day is actually his birthday. So he's being reborn on his birthday. That's right Spence, born on his birthday!

We also had a bike day! so we're back on the bikes. watch out houston. It wasn't too bad, aside from the 103 degree heat and full humidity. haha

but hey! i hope everyone's doing okay. i love you and miss you all and i'm soooo happy that i didn't get transferred! I'll be thinking about spence these next couple weeks. Make him write me and tell me all about it. in detail. not the way boys usually tell things.

okay, i'm done here. love love love!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Muggles:

Happy fourth of July! Hermana Warner and I bought stuff to make special oatmeal pancakes for a special patriotic breakfast and then we realized it was fast sunday! haha. so we saved it for Monday morning and then we had to satisfy ourselves with singing a patriotic hymn. Actually, the more correct way of saying that would be to say that I made hermana Warner sing a patriotic hymn with me and halfway through we both lost it and couldn't stop laughing. There's just something funny about two white girls in the middle of a sea of hispanic Texans, sitting alone in their apartment and trying to seriously sing a song about their country at eight in the morning. Feliz dia de independencia. But It was cool to hear our ward bear testimony about the religious freedom they have found here. I hope ya'll had a great celebration. haha. Lions club breakfast? and CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RUN! I es a so proud of my cute little family. We're just a happy little plaid family. And we're runners. that's the thing. Sarah, you DON'T hate running..."yes i DOOOOO." next up: climb Anapurna.

As for me and my beloved companion: we've been having quite the week. Most importantly, we set a baptismal date with Claudia and her daughter Mariana! They will be baptized the seventeenth of July! We're so excited for them. We called President afterwards to let him know and he and sister Moldenhauer said they want to come to the baptism because they met her at stake conference. That was the best phonecall I've EVER made. (aside from calling you guys ;) ) So far everything is just going so well with them that it scares me, so keep us all in your prayers.

Secondly, we've been on hurricane watch all week. Come on mom, you're supposed to be watching the weather and stressing about your sweet daughter all alone down here in Texas! Hurricane Alex was our first hurricane of the season and luckily for us it hit just south of us in Monterrey Mexico, so all we really saw was a lot of water, but I am telling you - we saw A LOT of water! The elders went out and took pictures and they were standing in it up to their knees in the middle of the street! As we were driving, the streets were flooding and I kept telling Hermana Warner that I just knew I was going to ruin the Lord's car! But we managed to avoid the worst of it and tried to be smart about where we parked and our car (which we have officially named Dover since there is a Dover street in our area and whenever we pass it we say "come on Dover!") is still running nicely. We had a couple close calls though. One time we were driving through part of the street and I looked over at the huge truck next to us and the water was up to the top of their tires! I dont' know how we made it out without getting stuck. The weirdest part about all of this is how hot it is. I'm used to rain bringing a chill but here it just brings heavier heat!

So we had our "baptism by water" all week long and then on Monday came our "baptism by fire." Except the fire part already happened a month ago: let me explain: Our elders have been teaching a man whose house burned down a month ago and he has been waiting for insurance to come and photograph so that he can clean the mess up. Yes. It took them one FULL month to come and photograph! So yesterday we went as a service project to help them clean up. Let me tell you. that was the NASTIEST MESS I've ever been in! Think of this: one month of food sitting in a refrigerator in this terrible heat. One month of mold and rain and cockroaches and ash EVERYWHERE. The smell coming from that fridge still hasn't left my nostrils. I almost lost it when they finally took it outside and started spraying it down with a hose - food and everything - just to make it stomach-able enough to clean out. When they moved it, there were HUNDREDS of cockroaches that had been underneath it. We were literally shoveling burned remains of everything they owned into garbage bags and hauling it outside to the trash. clothes, pictures, toys, dishes... you name it. Then, we went for the walls with axes. With every swing, two or three of the giant type of cockroaches would come squirming out of the wall. Hermana Warner and I were covered in dust and sweating through every layer and then some and hauling that trash around like the Hermanos that were there with us. Mexicans can clean out a house in two hours flat! They were awesome. But the Bishop was laughing at me and said "what hermana, you're not scared of cockroaches are you?" Then one of the younger guys punched a whole in wall, grabbed one out and threw it at us! We definitely earned our P-day this week. But I think there should be a special place reserved in the celestial kingdom for the brother that was cleaning out that fridge. We have a hurricane preparedness checklist hanging on our wall and one of the things it says to do is clean out the fridge and prop open the doors and unplug the fridge in case of an evacuation. I have been wondering WHY we would have to prop the doors open. now I know. gross. gross gross! i can't even think of it it makes me sick still. We were wearing masks and we still had ash all over the place. The hermanos were laughing at us because we looked like we had mustaches! The shower afterwards felt AWESOME. but anyways, you get the picture.

Other than that, we're just grateful for our nice little apartment! Hermana Warner and I have way too much fun together. The other day she was sitting on the couch and wondering out loud about a "special friend" of hers that hasn't written since she's been out here and she wondered what he was doing right then. Seeing as it was a Saturday night I said, as i was walking past her and into the bedroom, "well let's's ten o clock on a saturday night... he's probably out on a date with some hot chick." hahah! she came running after me and tackled me on my bed! She said I was so MEAN! but we were both laughing pretty hard. She's hilarious.

So that's all folks! Hope you had a good holiday. "Are you on holiday Ginger?" "no patsy, i'm in solitary confinement!" name THAT movie! I love ya'll like a cockroach loves nasty refrigerator slime! Hope to hear from everyone soon. Thanks for all your support!

Love Becca

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Busy week this week in the campo blanco!

Dear people I am related to who finally wrote me this week after three or four or seventeen weeks of nothing in the mailbox:

Como estan? I was so happy to hear from ya'll again! Dad, thanks for the thoughts. I almost fell off my bed when I realized you've been reading something that wasn't your little green book of investing or the scriptures and then I just shook my head that you didn't choose Pride and Prejudice but started off with Larry H. Miller's biography...(how could you? isn't the suspense just killing you about whether or not Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth will end up together?) but I guess that's okay. After all, you know that guy. BUT unfortunately I never got any time to sit down and think about what I want to say in this e-mail so it might be a little scatter-brained.

okay before I forget: good luck in your race! I will be thinking about all my little gu gu dolls running their hearts out on July 3rd. Go get 'em. And take time to notice all the puppies in front of you.... if you don't get that, ask mom. she's good at spotting them. Speaking of mom, HAPPY ANIVERSARY mom and dad! Hope your weekend wasn't too crazy and that you got some time to pat eachother on the back or something. I've saved up all the money on my blue card and I bought you something nice - it's a trip to Jamaica! so I hope you enjoy it. haha jk. but a little birdie told me you're going der widout me. So I hope you take your swet bottumms. Him obviously lub you. Just send me a t-shirt that says 'jamaican me crazy' okay?

Busy week this week in the campo blanco! We had zone conference AND stake conference so we were all over the place. But it was a great one. We are officially half way through the year 2010 - a miracle year in THE mission. So President did some motivating to get us excited to finish the miracle that we started in January (in case you don't follow these emails religiously and hang on every word, THE mission miracle of 2010 is to double our baptisms from 2009.) And he showed us clips from Remember the Titans to do it - so I rest my case that sister missionaries are doomed to listen to sports pep talks throughout their missions. He even told us a story about when he was a coach in high school and one of his athletes won state. Guess what my wonderfully tall, bald, lovingly inspiring mission president coached before his mission? If you guessed pole vaulting then you get a gold star. And for some reason the word "pole vaulting" makes me think of Young Frankenstein. Som varm milk perhaps? pole vaulting? okay okay you're all fine. i know it's "ovaltine." that's the thing. olvatine is gross. But actually it was an awesome story about how this kid just wouldn't give up and ended up vaulting 14 feet and cleared it easy. That's incredible. So Hermana warner and I are packing the poles in the back of the trunk to take proselyting with us. As for stake conference, that's always an exciting time because ALL of the spanish missionaries work in the same stake so we're all there together. I was playing the piano for the choir, which just about sent Hermana Warner over the moon because she's from a very musically talented ward and our stake sings with lots of heart and you've gotta have heart - all you really need is heart. When the odds are saying you'll never win, that's when the grin should start... We got laughing really hard during the conference though so I feel kinda bad. hopefully nobody noticed. But it's just hard for us to sit for two hours and listen to spanish without doing something naughty. And here's the thing: President makes us read the white hand book every day so by now i've got it memorized and so I always find special moments to incorporate quotes from it. And Hermana Warner wrote me a little note that said she loved me so I wrote back and said "will you be my companion" and she wrote back "claro que si" and so then I wrote back, quoting the white handbook "will you sleep in my same room but not in my same bed" and then we were just all giggles after that. Like, laugher chicks. But I really like the Hermanas in our mission. we have a lot of fun together.

We had an investigator bring her daughter to stake conference so we're pretty excited about them! Her name is Claudia and her eight year old daughter is named Mariana. She is progressing pretty nicely - no huge hang ups so far, just working towards confirmation that she needs to be baptized. We're also really excited about a guy named Noel. (not levi's dad. we're not excited about him) But this Noel is the son of a crazy lady. We taught his mom first and she was one of those crazy talk-during-the-prayer people that wouldnt' really listen to us because she was so busy amening so I didn't go back. Well about two weeks later I got a call from her asking for us to bring over the Finding Faith in Christ DVD. I was kinda groaning on the inside but we took it over and she was still crazy but she asked us to come back on a saturday and teach her son and husband. We did and her son is absolutely incredible. Midway through the lesson she pulls out some book of mormon from years ago with three hermanas names in the front cover (one was tate! but not lisa) and he grabs it and starts reading it right there. More on him later! he's really promising.

and i'm basically out of time so i'm sorry to end really abruptly but fyi it's pouring here. POURING. Love you all! enjoy your summer